Friday, December 2, 2016

An American 'Clurichaun' Tale

I received an email inquiry from a reader several years ago:

Hi - I was wondering if you had ever had or heard of a leprechaun or fairy experience in America? Susan

Well, I have written about and reported a few fairy-like being encounters over the years...including a leprechaun or two. There are also legends of the 'Tommyknockers' in mining areas worked by Irish immigrants throughout North America. After I received the inquiry I looked back through my files, including a few journals I had kept from the 1970's. I did manage to find an odd anecdote that was told to me by a friend-of-a-friend in 1976 while in Philadelphia.

From what I gathered an ancestor by the name of Finn, who lived in colonel Philadelphia, had a bit of trouble keeping port wine on hand. It seemed that each morning he noticed that the level of a barrel he kept in the cellar got lower. In fact it had gotten to a point where he thought his wife was taking a dipper full each night while he slept...though he had never known her to have a taste for the stuff.

One day while working at the dock he asked his friend Donal what he thought about the situation. Donal looked back at Finn and laughed..."His Nibs is sampling your stock." Finn had no idea what Donal was referring to. "His Nibs...a clurichaun is stealing your spirits."

Honestly, when I heard the story I had no idea what a clurichaun was. Apparently, it is an Irish fairy which resembles the leprechaun. Some describe the clurichaun as a night 'form' of the leprechaun, who goes out to drink after finishing his daily chores. Clurichauns are said to favor drunkenness more than not. However, unlike their cousins, they are surly. If you treat them well they will protect your wine cellar, however, if mistreated, they will wreak havoc on a home and spoil the wine stock. Occasionally he can be heard singing Irish folk songs in the wine cellars. The clurichaun is great to have around the house because he also protects your home from vandals and thieves. They are also referred to as 'clobhairs' and 'His Nibs.'

According to Donal, if Finn wanted to see the clurichaun, leave a cup of wine on the night stand...it can't resist an offer of drink. Donal warned "don't scare it away. There will be dire consequences if you do."

That night, Finn left a full cup of wine on his night stand hoping to catch a glimpse of the imp. A little bit after midnight Finn heard the floor boards creaking. As he slowly opened his eyes, he gazed upon a small 3 ft. man wearing a red hat made of plant leaves and a red wool vest. It resembled a leprechauns in all it's physical characteristics. As he watched the clurichaun reach for the cup a horrific scream shot from behind him. His wife also caught glimpse of the small being and reacted instinctively. The clurichaun dropped the cup on the floor and dashed out of the room. Flinn thought "what now?"

Flinn tried to lure the clurichaun back and to its good graces with several offers of wine, but was never successful. It is said that Flinn could never keep fresh wine again...it always turned to vinegar as soon as it was brought into the house.

Pocket Guide to Monsters and Malevolent Creatures

The Weiser Field Guide to Cryptozoology: Werewolves, Dragons, Skyfish, Lizard Men, and Other Fascinating Creatures Real and Mysterious

Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #21: Leprechauns and Irish Folklore: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #43: Leprechaun in Late Winter


Friday, November 25, 2016

My Uncommon Home


Dear Lon,

I have been meaning to write to you and describe some bizarre and on-going experiences I have had while living in a small, 3 bedroom brick ranch home in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. Most all these incidents have occurred inside this home, which in all respects is very mundane and ordinary. There is nothing sinister about the appearance or atmosphere of this residence. I have been living here quite comfortably for 27 years, yet there are occasions when things happen in this house which can't be easily explained away.

Among the first incidents I remember distinctly was one night as my then-wife and I were lying in bed, I felt a very sharp downward tug on the bed covers. The feeling was as if someone was crouched down at the foot of the bed and had just grabbed a handful of the covers and tugged them once, sharply, toward the floor. This movement was very firm, it was not just a wrinkle falling out of the covers, or me having a dream. I was wide awake at the time. Though I waited for something else to happen, nothing did, and that was the end of that particular incident.

There have been plenty of occasions where some item would suddenly disappear from its normal location, be gone for days or even weeks, and then reappear in its proper place, or well hidden in some unexplained spot around the house. One particular incident that stands out from many years ago was my driver's license was missing from my wallet. I searched all over the house and in my car, it was not to be found anywhere. A few days later, my driver's license was back in my wallet, but instead of in the compartment with the plastic window, the driver's license was just placed in the wallet alongside my cash.

Among the more startling things that have happened have been our television turning on by itself. This has happened several times, almost always when I'm alone in the house. One time in particular was very odd, because I had been working and doing errands around the house. Those errands had me entering and leaving the living room on several trips, but it was not until I had finished all my chores and walked into the living room to sit down and watch television that it came on by itself! I looked down and verified the TV remote was sitting on the coffee table untouched and in good working order.

There seems to be a slight increase in activity around Christmas time, as I have noticed on more than one occasion items will suddenly move of their own accord. I caught a slight movement out of the corner of my eye one holiday season and noticed that an extension cord which we had used to set up a table display had started to sway on its own.

On one occasion after my divorce from my first wife while I was living here alone, I heard the sound of something scratching around in my bedroom closet one night. As I listened, the scratching sound became louder and more active. Finally, believing it had to be a rodent that was possibly chewing on something in there, I got up and searched through the closet. I found nothing in the closet, nor the rest of the room to explain the noises. On many other occasions I've heard a lot of heavy movement in the attic. The attic of this house is quite small; you can not stand up anywhere in this attic and it is also quite packed with boxes. There is no way any one of normal size could move around much up there, but yet I've often heard the sounds of what could only be a full-sized person moving all around up there, seemingly trying to make as much racket as possible while doing so. I have gotten up and gone up into the attic to check things out, but have never seen or heard anything when I did. I want to emphasize that these sounds are not rats, squirrels, bats, etc. or some other small critters; these sounds are being made by something weighing what a full-grown adult would weigh.

As you can tell, the vast majority of these unexplained events are just curious and do not exhibit any overt signs of evil or any bad intent toward my present girlfriend, our animals or myself. However, there are some incidents that continue to occur on a very regular basis that have brought much distress to my girlfriend. Often when she is the first to retire at night, she will get back up very agitated within a few minutes and tell me there are people in the bedroom that are bothering her. She has some psychic sensitivity and swears someone who had lived in the house previously had been involved in some type of witchcraft or experimentation with Ouija Boards, because she was sure a portal had been opened in the room we were now using as our bedroom. She claims this portal remained open because some previous resident or guest in the home had probably buried some talisman or spirit object in the crawlspace under the house. I have been under the house on odd occasions through the years but have never found any evidence of something buried there, yet she believes this portal is open and is the entryway for these undesirable entities to come in.

Whatever the source of these manifestations, they have greatly affected my girlfriend. She is very uncomfortable sleeping in the bedroom and even has had some of these experiences while I'm in the room with her. I can not sense these things myself, and sadly, having me there with her does not always ease her suffering. I've suggested to her that as someone who has at least some psychic ability, she should learn how to protect herself from these entities or people, but she claims she is unable to find any source of protection to stop this from happening to her.

This is by far the most disturbing aspect of the incidents and obviously I find it very distressing to have this continuing to occur on a pretty regular basis, but I've been at a loss as to exactly how to put an end to it. I'm aware that sometimes bringing in a priest or someone to cleanse a home will actually provoke even more activity rather than ending it, so she continues to have to deal with this and neither of us quite know what to do.

One other incident that happened just prior to my moving here is also worthy of mentioning here. I was living in a small wood-frame house in a neighboring town. This place had its share of strange noises at night, including some very discernible footsteps that would come up the wooden steps from the basement. One night while living there alone, I was in bed prior to falling asleep when I felt something press down on the right side of the bed near my feet. It felt exactly as if a small child, maybe about 40 pounds or so in weight, had sat down on the edge of the bed. This was needless to say very disconcerting and I was quite taken aback. However, nothing else happened. At some point, as odd as it may sound, I eventually just fell asleep without ever reaching down to see if I could feel anything there or getting up and turning on a light to ensure my safety, although when it happened I was pretty shaken. I still don't know how or why I just laid there without reacting until I fell asleep, but that's what happened.

I've been told the previous resident of my present home, an elderly woman, had become ill and died here. There is ample evidence she loved this home and was quite attached to it. There are still many plants and shrubs growing around the lot which she planted herself. Perhaps she is still here and makes her presence known with these incidents to let us know we're not alone. If she is still here, for the most part she has been a very congenial, non-threatening member of the household and I have no problem sharing the place with her so long as she doesn't make trouble.

The above incidents are true. I have been an ardent researcher of all things paranormal/unexplained all my adult life and I have to admit it's been extremely interesting for me to have some real-life unexplained incidents of my own which, if nothing else, have given me irrefutable proof these incidents happen, quite probably happen to everybody, but some people take note of it and other people just ignore or dismiss these things.

Sincerely,

Steve A.

Better Haunted Homes and Gardens

House of Spirits and Whispers: The True Story of a Haunted House

Haunted Georgia: Ghost Stories and Paranormal Activity from the State of Georgia (Haunted States Series)

Haunted Georgia: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Peach State (Haunted Series)